Pune News Live Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar sang abhangs (devotional poetry in praise of Lord Vitthal) of Sant Tukaram while in jail during India’s freedom struggle. He was addressing a gathering of warkaris (devotees undertaking pilgrimage to Lord Vitthal temple at Pandharpur), after inaugurating a shila (rock) temple at the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Mandir dedicated to the 17th-century saint at Dehu near Pune. The PM will also inaugurate the Jal Bhushan Building and Gallery of Revolutionaries at Raj Bhawan in Mumbai later in the day.
“Sant Tukaram was a Warkari saint and poet, famously known for Abhanga devotional poetry and community-oriented worship through spiritual songs known as Kirtans. He lived in Dehu. A Shila Mandir was built after his demise, but it was not formally structured as a Temple. It has been rebuilt in stone masonry with 36 peaks, and also carries an idol of Sant Tukaram,” as per the official press release. Later, the PM will participate in the 200th-year celebration of the Gujarati daily Mumbai Samachar at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
In anticipation of the Prime Minister’s visit, the temple was closed to the public from Sunday, June 12, as per media reports. Heavy police and security presence too has been beefed up at the premises.